Platte River, Platte River Watershed (GP02)
Platte River, Platte River Watershed (GP02)
Platte River (943600)
9.45 Miles
37.80 - 47.25
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem, Cool-Warm Headwater
Year Last Monitored
This date represents the most recent date of water quality monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional field surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2002
Good
 
Grant, Iowa
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Yes
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
No
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.
No

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Cold (Class II Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L through natural reproduction and selective propagation. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Cold (Class II Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L through natural reproduction and selective propagation. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Cold
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.

Overview

The Platte River rises near the community of Montfort on the south flank of the Military Ridge. It flows 47 miles to its confluence with the Mississippi River at Pool 11 near Dickeyville. The river winds through scenic areas and offers recreational potential for canoeing in some reaches. About 5.5 miles of it above the Annaton Road crossing near Annaton are considered class II trout waters. Here the stream has a moderate to fast current, and narrow to medium width with numerous riffles and smaller pools. Downstream the water warms as it becomes wider and the stream classification changes to a warm water sport fishery stream. The reach downstream of Annaton supports a smallmouth bass fishery. Recent reconnaissance of the smallmouth bass fishery in the river turned up few bass and fish monitoring done at two sites on the Platte River between 1994 and 1996 has shown a fluctuating bass population (Kerr, 1998; Wang, et.al.,1996). Closer to its mouth the sport fishery becomes more dominated by channel catfish and northern pike.

The Platte River carries a very large load of sediment to the Mississippi River annually. The cumulative impact of the excessive nutrient loading from the entire Mississippi River basin, particularly the upper portion in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, can be seen in the hypoxia problem in the Gulf of Mexico (EPA, 1999). The sediment from the Platte River Watershed also fills pools in the Platte River affecting instream habitat. Nonpoint sources of pollution appear to be the primary impairment of habitat and water quality in the stream. Nutrients attached to the sediment encourage excessive aquatic plant and/or algae growth. Recent macroinvertebrate monitoring indicated that the stream has better water quality than most of the streams monitored (Marshall, 1999). Overall, these results have shown the river to have good water quality with a higher percentage of mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies than the other streams monitored at the same time. Despite this, however, there was also a large population of midges, which can indicate ecological disturbances that often can be attributed to agricultural sources of nonpoint pollution. A western tributary to the Platte River that enters just above Bacon Branch was also sampled. Those samples found good water quality, but with a higher percentage of midges and fewer mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies (Marshall, 1999). A high percentage of midges can be an indication that the stream is impacted from agricultural sources of nonpoint pollution (Gamman, 1983).

A group of citizen volunteer stream monitors have taken an interest in the water quality of the river. The group began monitoring water clarity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen downstream from Rock Church Road in the summer of 2000. The group found this section of the river to have good water temperature and dissolved oxygen levels while water clarity could be low after a rain event (Trout Unlimited, 2001).

Two pollution intolerant species listed on Wisconsin’s threatened and endangered species list have historically been found in the Platte River (WDNR, 1997). Nonpoint source best management practices, particularly in the reach above Annaton Road, would help protect and improve the stream and protect aquatic habitat and wildlife. Specific best management practices would include adequate stream buffers and managed grazing.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area = 331.70 acres, Length = 45.6 miles, Gradient = 11 ft./mile, Flow = 207.3 c.f.s.

A low-gradient, seepage- and spring-fed stream originating in the dominating agricultural landscape south of Montfort. From here it flows southwest to enter the Mississippi River three miles southwest of Dickeyville. It is characterized by having a wide floodplain and many spring-fed tributaries producing the dendritic drainage pattern common to this part of the country. Small boulders are strewn over much of the predominantly gravel-rubble stream bed. The uppermost five miles of this stream is locally known as "Seven Foot Branch". This portion of the stream is managed as trout water, and brown and rainbow trout are stocked annually by the Department of Natural Resources. It has never harbored a high density of trout and the lower reaches contain
a better smallmouth bass population than trout. Smallmouth bass provide a good fishery throughout the rest of the stream while northern pike and channel catfish supply a limited fishery as far upstream as Ellenboro. Forage species are abundant throughout, and rough fish are seined commercially in the lower reaches below the mouth of the Little Platte River. Remnants of the Old Annaton Mill Dam can still be seen in the upper reaches. Inadequate finances discouraged the building of another dam in this same general area a few years ago. Over- grazing and bank erosion are problems seen in several areas along this stream. Small amounts of pollution enter from feedlots on the stream and from several spring-fed tributaries. Adjoining wetland totals 998 acres of which 60 percent is shallow marsh, 30 percent is fresh meadow, seven percent is shrub swamp, and three percent is timber swamp. Marshland furbearers include muskrat, beaver, and mink. Migratory waterfowl are common in the lower reaches. Many of the upland game species are also found in this large watershed. Navigable water access is possible from the Mississippi River. Additional access is provided by the boat landing in the Banfield Bridge Recreation Area, a boat landing along Highway 35, and 19 bridge crossings.

Date  1972

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Platte River, Platte River Watershed (GP02) Fish and Aquatic LifePlatte River, Platte River Watershed (GP02) RecreationPlatte River, Platte River Watershed (GP02) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Platte River (WBIC 943600) from Annaton Rd. to the headwaters was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This portion of the water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

The Platte River (Mouth to Annaton Rd.) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data clearly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired. No listing change was required to this already impaired water.


Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

Impaired Waters

Platte River (943600), from the mouth to Annaton Rd., was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

Condition

Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available.

Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.

Reports

Management Goals

Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable

Management goals can include creation and implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis, habitat restoration work, partnership education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below.

Monitoring

Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.

Grants and Management Projects

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Platte River is located in the Platte River watershed which is 197.74 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (71%), forest (18%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (6%). This watershed has 455.07 stream miles, 21.45 lake acres and 1,303.48 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Platte River is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem, Cool-Warm Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Cool (Warm-Transition) Headwaters are small, sometimes intermittent streams with cool to warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are uncommon to absent, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are common to uncommon. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

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